Advocates from the organisation ‘Muslims against Terrorism' on Monday denounced the vitriolic speeches of a cleric Shaikh Meraj Rabbani and said they would appeal to the government to proscribe the organisation, Ahle Hadees, to which he belongs.

A CD containing the rabid speech by Rabbani, replete with obscene language, decrying a religion and calling upon the audience to carry out blasts, was aired at the press conference here.

“We have to stop such people from coming to our country and spreading poison. A number of his videos are available on YouTube. His CDs are made in Bangalore and distributed there and in Mumbai. We want to raise our voice against anyone who speaks of spreading terrorism in the name of religion,” said advocate Rizwan Merchant.

Mumbai lawyer Majid Memon sought to dispel the bias about Muslims, terrorism, jihad and Islam. He said jihad was a fight within oneself, one which seeks to vanquish and destroy the darker side of one's nature. “When a person hurts someone he or she is no longer with Islam.”

“Please don't hate us [Muslims]. Please don't regard us with suspicion. If you [other communities] take one step [towards reconciling with us], we will take four. The Ranganath Misra Commission has said our literacy rates are low. Our training has not been so good and we might not be able to express ourselves too well. But the 18-crore Muslims have also contributed to India's growth. Our forefathers who decided to stay back in India in 1947 chose secularism over an Islamic state. We love our land and will spend our lives here,” Mr. Memon said.

He said the last 18 years had seen the emergence of a “bomb culture,” which was imported to India post-1992. The initial perceptions likening Muslims to terrorists and later terrorists to Muslims had changed for the better. He cited the Malegaon blast of 2008 in which Hindu right-wing elements were involved.

Keywords: Islamterrorism

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